J'ai reussi! I finished my French tree!!
I can't believe it just happened. I feel so proud and happy!! :D
At first it looked like a distant goal, but then I started reading posts like this, about people who went through the whole tree and finished it, and it refreshed my enthusiasm. And that's why I'm posting this now.
From my own experience I must say that this is the best software to learn languages I've found (and I've tried a few). It has been fun most of the time, but sometimes it got bored and even bothering, especially when I had to go back to lessons I didn't remember and everything looked so strange...
I forced myself to do it during some periods, but I also abandoned it during some others. I completed the tree within 8 months and I'm in level 15.
I must say I didn't translate a lot (I was afraid of it, and I started too late to enjoy it) and almost never (maybe 1 or 2 times) pressed the "test out" button.
I wasn't a total beginner, I had a smattering of French, and it isn't incredibily difficult when you're a Spanish native speaker. I have also been having a "real" lesson with a native French speaker once a week while I was working on Duolingo. The lessons with her were mostly conversations. At first I was clumsy, slow and even desperating... Now I'm not clumsy nor slow, and even if I commit mistakes, I don't care, because I understand people and they understand me. (Last day I didn't know how to say "cave" and I said "a hole in the mountain" instead. She got it).
The way you learn with Duoling is something new. Instead of knowing the theory about how subjunctive is made, I know it by intuition. That's great. Well done, Duolingo team; and well done, course contibutors!
Now I'd say my level is around B1 or B2. When I'm lucky I score like a C1 in some online tests (I have studied many languages and that helps when you lack the linguistic knowledge but you can use the gramatical logic).
About strengthen and keeping the tree golden, I always kept it golden. Coloured circles really pissed me off, so I attacked them quickly. And now it seems like a good idea, since the only circles that lost their goldness now are the last ones I've made.
I really encourage people to keep on. It's useful and not that hard!!
I also tried other languages: German, Italian, Dutch and Danish, and even Spanish (my native language) from English. French was in the middle. German and Danish are harder (specially Danish) and I must strengthen everything all the time. On the other hand, Italian is so easy (to me) and I finish each lesson in one minute (I'm also at the begining).
Actually I played with many trees all the time. The only difference was that I dedicated to French 10 times more time than the other languages.
An unexpected result was that I learnt some vocabulary and structures in English too. I decided doing the French course from English (instead of Spanish, which also exists) because English has more available languages. And it turned out to be a better idea than I thought. Actually, it would be aweome to learn my next language from French, wouldn't it?
About next steps... Damn, I wish the trees were longer, or that there were advanced trees or something.
I don't think I will make the reverse tree, I did Spanish from English and I didn't feel it was very useful.
I guess I will focus on the German tree. I really want to feel again the way I'm feeling now!
And, as everybody says, I will keep my French tree golden and tidy.
Oh! One more thing: comments made by users were useful as hell. And some times they were very funny, specially when a sentence made me think of a movie or a tv show and someone had commented something about it. Duolingo community is awesome and they are also responsible of my success.
One of the last ones was in a sentence like "L'oiseau est mort" and some guy commented "L'oiseau est mort! Vive l'oiseau!". :D (From the famous "Le roi est mort, vive le roi")
I hope my experience will be useful for somebody.
Merci a tous!! Vous êtes incroyables!
Actually I really like reading experiences like yours. If I can keep at my busy schedule, I will have finished my French tree by 14 December 2014 at my streak day 436 and that's totally fine to me - I've been living in France for 2,5 weeks now and 2,5 more weeks to come.
I had the same idea as you: Being a native German speaker, learning French is way tougher than learning English. Thus, I had the idea to learn French from English and after that Spanish from French a.s.o. but it turned out to me that I could only use my new French knowledge when I shifted my mind to English, but when I had to use the words again in German, I failed. That's way I'm learning French from German right now. But this course is only in Beta, thus there is no immersion right now... But I can apply my expanded vocabulary.
Chapeau et félicitations à toi, tu faisais ça très, très bien. =)
Chapeau to both of you for being able to switch languages so easily. English is my native language, and I've got a fairly good grasp of Spanish (not fluent, but I can understand and be understood). French is a new language to me as of this year. After I got some French under my belt, I started to work on both French and Spanish the same day, and it went terribly. I can think in French, or Spanish, but I can't easily switch between the two. Perhaps once I improve at French, it will be easier. Are there any tips? Or does it just take practice?
If you're really good at Spanish and want to learn French, the Agostini program is great. It's a book and audio, not an internet program, but you can find it if you know where to look ;)
Keep on trying, because the more you do it the easier it gets even if it's hard at first. keep on Trying!
Bravo ! I am doing the spanish tree right now. Mais si tu veux de l'aide en français demande moi ;) Je parle français depuis que je sais parler ^^ If you want some advice of how to do now, try watching french videos on youtube (I can give you some channels), TV shows, movie and finally read some French books (the level that you fell comfortable),
Maintenant je suis en train de lire Le petit Prince. J'ai vu quelques chapitres de Les Revenants aussi. Actuellement j'ai beaucoup de matériel, mais merci de vous vous offrir a m'aider ! Si vous avez besoin de l'aide avec l'espagnol, disez le moi !
Bravo cacomanrique !! Quelques corrections si vous permettez : "quelques chapitres DES Revenants" (de + les = DES)," si vous avez besoin d'aide... DITES-le moi" verbe dire à la 2e personne du pluriel présent = vous dites (et non vous disez).
Yes, we say in French "quelques chapitres des Revenants" and " quelques chapitres du Petit Prince and not "quelques chapitres de Le Petit Prince".
Thanks for sharing! It seems like a long way off for me at the moment, but can't wait to get there.
You'll get there if you really want. It'll be a long journey and sometimes you will stop and it's tough to come back, but if you really want it, you'll get there. I promise ;-)
Great story! :) Happy for your accomplishment! Have a lil red jewel, um lingot. ;)
Great job! I can't believe you can get there in only a few months. That's impressive. Any good resources you'd recommend?
I didn't use any other resource apart from Duolingo. With maybe the exception of YouTube. Look for songs, vloggers, lessons.... For example, I like classical Disney movies' songs. I learning by heart a couple from The Lion King. ☺
I don't watch much Disney, but I'll give it a whirl. I looked up Frozen's Let it Go and Do you Want to Build a Snowman, driving my sisters crazy by trying to catch what they're saying and playing it over and over and over. Thanks. :)
I learned Let it Go in French and its so fun! I also took a few hears of French in school so I was able to test out of some stuff. Also what I like to do to practice is to pull up a picture (from Disney or whatever you want) and just try to describe what you see, what the characters are doing, or whatever in French. It makes you think and put skills you've been learning to good use.
I'll try that, thanks! It sounds like it would make me think of what I learned, especially the adjectives. Again, thanks!
Congratulations, Be sure to keep those skills strengthened! Here, take some lingots.
Congratulations! I'm prolific in German, Italian, and English, and I wanted to learn French so I started using Duolingo. You're absolutely right about it being awesome! Thanks for sharing that story. Have a lingot!
Félicitations! I love seeing stories like this because it gives hope and courage to everyone struggling up the tree.
félicitation ! It was really helpful & also hopeful article . Made me be more insistent on my learning. thank you & good luck .
congrats! Now you are an inspiration to me! I just started the French tree.
Well done, I decided to brush up on my school girl French, for no other reason than, I loved learning French at school. I have learned much more from this site than I ever did in school, and I am learning a lot. I agree that this is the best site out there for learning languages, as I have tried a couple and it is nowhere near as good as this one. I hope I may be able to accomplish what you have and finish my tree (I am on level 12). I am enjoying it so much I might even start on another language soon :)
Well Done! After over two years of almost daily effort I still havn't finished a tree.
Hm... I had two periods in which I forced myself to work every day. During the first period my goal was to get XP points every day (since I only used it on the phone at first, it meant that I had to complete a lesson), then I gave it up for a couple of months maybe. Then a friend of mine told me that he had the goal to get 30 XP points at least every day (in French). So I set a new goal: beat him. In order to do it, I would have to work (at least) som XP points more daily, so my goal was to get 50 XP points (in French) daily (again, only from the tree, not with the translations). After some time i got really hard for me to get this daily goal, but I forced myself to do it until I gave it up again... After one month or so I decided to combe back and get my golden tree back again. I didn't set any goal this time, because I saw that the end of the tree was near and it was a big motivation for me, I worked a lot every day. I guess I wasn't as constant as you, but I hadd some "sprint" periods of very intense work. Now I'm thinking about a harder daily goal: 1. Get all the trees golden; 2. Finish a new skill in my main language. 3. Get, at least, 50 XP points in my main language. (Some days, this 50 XP points will be done if you have finished the #2) 4. Finish at least 1 lesson in the rest of languages. So now I'm studying German and my "secondary languages" are Danish and Italian. Danish is still in the first steps, so it's easy, and I keep repeating the same lessons over and over again, my tree is not "growing", but my knowledge is getting fixed. Italian is very similar to my native language so it's not a very hard work either. But really, right now I'm wondering if I would be able to keep that pace. What abotu you? You are on level 19, this is more impressive to me than finishing the tree. Do you translate a lot? Do you repeat lessons even if you don't have to strengthen them? Do you feel you're actually learning? And, hey! Congratulations for you 219 streak. This is the most impressive thing.
that's awesome. thanks for sharing. i'm in the home stretch on my french tree. only a dozen lessons left! i was hoping there was a level 2 French tree ... but i guess there is not? where do i go from here when i'm done? i already have a weekly lesson with a french tutor.
Well, sometimes they update the trees and new lessons appear. So keping them gold and working on new lessons should be your first option. Some people try to do the reverse tree (learn English from French) or even a new (or old) language from French. Duolingo has a limit, but your French learning doesn't, so find your way, it's part of the experience!
Congratulations! Not only on completing your French tree but also on your excellent English. I too am working hard on the German tree and agree that it is not easy.
Félicitations! Je veux faire la même chose, mais j'ai beaucoup de travail à faire! Je dois pratiquer le discours français aussi.
Good luck with your future studies!
That is a very inspiring post, thank you cacomanrique and congratulations on finishing the tree! It's good that 'colored circles piss you off', I don't refresh my knowledge very often now that the tree is finished, although i know i should. The thing that motivated me the most during my way is the notification letters saying that I should keep the owl happy. And I really didn't want to upset the owl=)
Again thanks for your post and good luck on your next trees conquests=))
La suivi? Pourquoi vous n'essayez pas un "1000-jours-streak"? Bonne chance!
Congratulation! I'm really at the beginning of my french tree... but I feel it's jut not enough for me, even if I use memrise as well.... Ok english is not my native language (french is still not available in my native language) but I have studied it for more than 12 years so it's easy to understand the grammar explanations... but I feel I need more practice with not just the given sentences. I really don't get something... how do you guys remember how to conjugate the 3 types of the verbs... at the beginning duolingo doesn't even give you all of them... I had to search for another online test page just for the conjugation. (but it's really really boring). It seems it's gonna be a long journey for me... :( ... sometimes I'm just so fed up, that I spend a whole week without studying french :(
Hey! I really liked your comment, beause it looks very sincere.
Right now I feel really really fed up. I'm not interested in Duolingo anymore and 2 days ago I lost my 45-days streak. Keeping it gold is not easy, it requires daily effort and it's not worth anymore for me.
I have felt like this before, and after some time I go back to Duolingo with enthusiasm and I enjoy every minute of it. So, why torturing me? I think it's pointless to be here if you're not enjoying it. (actually you can apply this advice to any aspect of life, haha)
About learning... I don't know which is your first language. Mine is Spanish, which is not very (lexically) far from French, so it wasn't a huge deal to learn all these words, but I do recognize that it's being much more complicated with Danish. I have been doing the same 3 or 4 lessons over and over again. Even before Duolingo said I needed it. Don't compare your experience with mine. French was relatively easy for me and I wasn't a total beginner.
After reading many articles about it, I learnt something important about learning languages: you shouldn't use a single method: try at least two. At the beginning it's OK if you start with just one method because you are just getting acquainted with the language, but then you should try a couple of methods at same time or change from time to time. So yes: don't expect Duolingo to be all you will ever need.
What Duolingo is good for is for memorizing structures. Repeating things over and over again will keep them in your mind longer. Don't feel pressured, just keep playing with it and after some time you will realize that you know the conjugations by heart.
Thanks for your support and the nice words :) so as I'm living in Germany for more than a year now I guess my german knowlege is somewere in te middle (not what you see here :D ) I have also studied spanish in high school ... I thought I forgot everything but french is pretty a mixture of english and spanish to me with a bit german spice :D so improving my vocabulary is like playing and fun. But I cannot deal wit the "never ending stories" like really long expressions and conjugation as well. Now I'm before the prepositions, I only read the grammatic summary... already terrified... hmm well nobody said that's gonna be easy. I saw videos about making a tree in 90 days, now I realized that's just b*it, it depends on you and there is no sense to compete in time. (in addition maybe I'm so stupid, cause I have at least 3 native speaker friends... but they are like hard working people ... :( )
I said it on my post, 8 months, although there were periods in which I didn't play with Duolingo at all.